The Uranus/Pluto square rolls on, and as it does, the news continues to resonate with names of people and places whose asteroid referents have entered the “hot zone” of their passage. These individuals and locales act as “proxies” for our collective experience of the more rarefied, transpersonal energies of Uranus and Pluto, bringing them very visibly into concrete manifestation on the terrestrial plane.
January 2014 saw two dramatic and deadly shootings, and February brought a partial resolution to an older homicide, while bullets flew and fires burned in the capital of the Ukraine, embroiled in revolution.
On January 13, retired Tampa police captain Curtis Reeves, 71, shot and killed Chad Oulson, 43, during an altercation in a movie theater in Wesley Chapel, Florida. Ouslon had been texting his daughter’s babysitter during the movie previews, Reeves complained, harsh words were exchanged, and Ouslon threw popcorn at Reeves, who drew a .38 revolver and shot Oulson dead, also wounding his wife Nicole.
Besides the obvious symbolism of a shooting (Uranus, which rules all explosions, from the pop of a handgun to the detonation of a nuclear bomb) death (Pluto), the air of this incident is thick with Uranus’ “shoot first, ask questions later” rashness and volatility. We’re all going through that to some extent now, but some of us are more susceptible than others, due to natal makeup, transit factors, or PNA (Personal-Named Asteroid) activation.
Such is the case here, with PNAs representing the shooter, the victims, and the location, all in prominent display for the shooting, occurring at 1:25 PM EST in the Grove 16 Cinema. In the direct crosshairs of the Uranus/Pluto square, with Uranus then at 8 Aries and Pluto at 11 Capricorn, is asteroid Weseley (#25513, for the town of Wesley Chapel) at 8 Libra, exactly opposed Uranus. Traveling with Weseley is asteroid Reaves (#3007, for shooter Curtis Reeves) at 0 Libra, just entering the hot zone, which squares asteroid Grover (#17950, for the Grove 16 Cinema) at 2 Capricorn, coming to conjoin Pluto. Reeves and Grover also form a T-Square with asteroid Lachesis, named for the mythic Greek Fate who determines the span of life, at 2 Cancer.
Angular placements are also key to determining the moment of impact. Saturn, ancient lord of death, at 21 Scorpio is on the 19 Scorpio Descendant, which had just passed over asteroid Olson (#5166, for victim Chad Oulson) at 16 Scorpio, itself conjunct Saturn. Transit Mercury, representing the texting incident which precipitated the murder, at 3 Aquarius is conjunct the MC at 4 Aquarius, with asteroid Requiem, named for the funeral mass for the dead, exactly squared the MC/IC axis (and also squared Mercury) from 4 Taurus. Asteroid Curtis (#3621, for Curtis Reeves) at 27 Aquarius is exactly trine the Moon at 27 Gemini, providing an emotional trigger, and forms a Grand Trine with 27 Libra, the degree at which Mars, planet of argument, aggression and violent attack, will come to station retrograde on March 1st. Curtis is also broadly squared Saturn, signifying Curtis Reeves both as a policeman and as an agent of death.
Asteroid Nicole (#1343, for Nicole Oulson, shot in the hand while attempting to restrain her husband) at 12 Sagittarius is squared Chiron, ruling wounding, and Neptune, ruling victims, at 10 and 3 Pisces. Nicole is also squared asteroid Atropos at 14 Virgo, named for the mythic Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death, forming a T-Square and indicating her close involvement with a death that day.
Another incident of Uranian passions gone horribly wrong can be found in the shooting at a shopping mall in Columbia, Maryland on January 25, 2014. That morning 19-year-old Darion Marcus Aguilar took a cab to the mall, carrying a bag containing a 12-gauge shotgun and two crude devices that later appeared to be attempts at explosives made from fireworks. After an hour at the mall, Aguilar entered a second floor store catering to skaters and opened fire at 11:15 AM EST, killing two employees before turning the gun on himself. Aguilar was apparently unacquainted with his victims, and no motive for the shooting has emerged.
Asteroid Aguilar (#1800, for shooter Darion Aguilar) at 5 Libra had just entered the Uranus/Pluto hot zone, opposed Uranus at 9 Aries and squared Pluto at 12 Capricorn. Also engaged was asteroid Marc (#71445, for Marcus, Aguilar’s middle name) at 3 Capricorn, coming to conjoin Pluto, while asteroid Darius (#7210, for Darion) at 9 Taurus was tying to the square by trine to Pluto and exact semisextile to Uranus, and was also on the 5 Taurus Ascendant of the shooting, applying angular pressure and impact to Darion’s actions that morning. Marc is also opposed Lachesis at 0 Cancer, and Darius closely conjoins asteroid Requiem at 9 Taurus.
Columbia, Maryland is represented by asteroid Columbia (#327), which at 17 Aquarius conjoins Damocles (the doom hanging unseen overhead) and Mercury (local commerce, and thus the mall setting) at 20 and 22 Aquarius, while squared Saturn, ancient lord of death, at 22 Scorpio, itself conjunct the transit Moon at 23.
The victims were Tyler Johnson, 25, and Brianna Benlolo, 21. Tyler Johnson is represented by asteroid Johnson (#5905), which at 11 Aquarius conjoins both Columbia and the Sun at 5 Aquarius, identifying that name as significant to the day’s events, in that location. Brianna Benlolo is represented by asteroids Brian (#2683, the masculine form of Brianna) and Brianza (#7199, another variant). Brian appears at 10 Pisces, conjunct Chiron (wounding) and Neptune (victims) at 11 and 3 Pisces, while opposing Atropos at 13 Virgo; Brianza at 26 Libra conjoins Mars, ruler of attacks and violent death, at 21 Libra.
The third shooting story involves a February 15 verdict in a murder trial for an incident occurring in 2012. Both dates have contacts to the Uranus/Pluto square, with the actual shooting the most dramatic.
On November 23, 2012, 47-year-old Michael Dunn shot and killed 17-year old Jordan Davis in the parking lot of a convenience store in Jacksonville, Florida, in a racially-charged shooting reminiscent of Trayvon Martin’s death earlier that year. Dunn, who is white, shot into an SUV containing Davis and three friends after an altercation over the volume of the hip-hop music the young black men were playing. Dunn asked them to turn down the music, which they did, but Dunn was upset by Davis’ “attitude”, stating, “You’re not going to talk to me like that.” Dunn then fired indiscriminately into the vehicle nine times, later alleging he had seen the youth wielding a weapon and feared for his life. No weapon was recovered by police at the scene.
On February 15, 2014, a jury convicted Dunn on three counts of attempted second-degree murder of the three surviving youths, and one count of firing into a vehicle, but remained deadlocked on the first-degree murder charge for Davis’ death.
When the shooting occurred at approximately 7:30 PM EST on November 23, 2012, the Uranus/Pluto square was being activated by more than just PNAs, with Pluto at 8 Capricorn angular on the 3 Capricorn Descendant, indicating an interpersonal interaction involving death. With Pluto was Mars, ruling arguments, violence and guns, at 5 Capricorn, and asteroid Nemesis, ruling vengeance and undoing, at 8 Capricorn. Opposed was asteroid Dunn (#13849, for shooter Michael Dunn) at 7 Cancer, conjoined the 3 Cancer Ascendant, forming a T-Square was Uranus at 4 Aries, which the Moon at 11 Aries had conjoined earlier that day.
Asteroid Jackson (#2193, for Jacksonville, the city where the shooting occurred) at 29 Virgo is within orb of opposition to Uranus, making a loose Grand Cross.
Asteroid Michel (#1348, for Michael) at 2 Scorpio conjoins Saturn at 5 Scorpio, ancient ruler of death. Asteroid Michela (#1045, another variant of Michael) at 19 Libra is conjunct asteroid Davis (#3638, for victim Jordan Davis) at 17 Libra, uniting shooter and victim, both squared asteroid Icarus at 18 Capricorn, representing rash, reckless actions heedless of the consequences. Asteroid Jordaens (#5232, for Jordan) at 0 Pisces is exactly conjunct Neptune, ruling victims (and music, the proximate cause of the tragedy), and in a T-Square with asteroid Atropos (death) at 2 Gemini exactly opposed the Sun (the day’s events) at 2 Sagittarius.
When the verdict was announced on 15 February 2014, asteroids Dunn and Karma are conjunct at 15 and 16 Sagittarius, squared Atropos at 8 Virgo and Chiron at 12 Pisces, while opposed TNO Chaos at 16 Gemini, forming a Grand Cross and reflecting Michael Dunn’s (Dunn) reaping what he sowed (Karma) in his maverick behavior (Chiron), his moment of being out of control (Chaos), resulting in Davis’ death (Atropos). Asteroids Davis and Michela are still conjoined, as at the shooting, now at 19 and 21 Capricorn, with Michel also joining the mix from 22 Capricorn. Davis is just moving out of orb with Pluto, while Jordaens at 21 Taurus opposes Saturn at 23 Scorpio, thus both asteroid referents for the victim are linked directly with planetary indicators of death.
The final story involves the popular uprising in the Ukraine, which began in November 2013 and peaked in late February 2014 with the ouster of the current president, following his disastrous decision to dispel public protests with gunfire.
The genesis of what became the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution was in November 2013, when President Viktor Yanukovych refused to sign a free trade agreement which would have forged closer ties with Europe, preferring to pursue a pro-Russian policy. Protests broke out on November 21 in the central square of the capital of Kiev, and were dispersed by police on the November 30, with batons, tear gas and stun grenades. Several dozen protestors were injured, but none killed. The population reacted in outrage, with an estimated half billion people filling the streets in the next few days.
The protests continued peacefully for almost two months, with varying attendance from 50,000 to 200,000 during organized rallies, and the protestors establishing a tent city in the square, defended by barricades of tires and household items such as tables and chairs.
Increasing police brutality sparked violent riots over the last weeks of January, 2014, then subsided in mid-February. On the February 18, 20,000 people surged on the parliament building, demanding the reinstatement of a 2004 constitution which had been suspended in 2010 after the election of Yanukovych.
These protestors were blocked by police, who used rubber bullets, flash grenades and finally, live ammunition—an illegal act—to dispel the crowd. On the February, the government enacted a decree authorizing the use of live ammunition on the protestors, which resulted in nearly 80 deaths in 24 hours. The Chairman of the parliament issued a counter-decree condemning the use of force.
On February 21, President Yanukovych signed a compromise with opposition leaders, scheduling new elections for December, but this response was too little, too late. That same day parliament impeached Yanukovych, who abandoned his capital and fled to the Crimea, a Russian-dominated area of the Ukraine on the Black Sea.
Parliament named Speaker Oleksandr Turchynov as head of the interim government, and scheduled elections for May. On February 24, the new government issued an arrest warrant for former president Yanukovych for crimes against the people. By a unanimous vote, parliament also released Yanukovych’s predecessor, Yulia Tymoshenko, from the prison where she had been held after her election defeat in 2010. She has stated she will run for election as president in May.
The Ukraine (formed 24 August 1991) is also dramatically under the gun of the Uranus/Pluto opposition, with its Uranus at 10 Capricorn and natal asteroid Kiev (#2171, its capital) at 10 Cancer. This exact Uranus/Kiev natal opposition identifies the capital as a prime mover in any rebellion or revolution in the country.
Born under the Uranus/Neptune conjunction, the Ukraine is now experiencing its first Uranus square (analogous to an individual “growing up” and becoming independent at age 21) as part and parcel of the Uranus/Pluto square, with Pluto conjunct the revolution-inspiring natal Uranus and both points in hard aspect to natal Kiev. A former member state of the USSR, Ukraine’s pull toward Moscow is apparent in the placement of asteroid Moskva (#787, Russian for Moscow) at 22 Scorpio, conjunct both the MC (representing the government) at 27 Scorpio, and Pluto (raw power, control and manipulation) at 17 Scorpio.
A counter-pull toward the West is indicated by the placement of asteroid Washingtonia (#886, for the US capital) at 27 Cancer on the 26 Cancer Descendant, representing the people’s desire for a closer relationship with the West. The two points, however, are in trine to each other, suggesting some level of cooperation or collusion between these powers. Fittingly, Moskva is exactly squared the nation’s Moon, its populace, at 22 Aquarius, suggesting public conflict and struggle emanating from that quarter and a governmental pro-Russian policy at odds with majority sentiment in the country.
Adding emphasis to Russia’s role as chief provocateur is the placement of transit asteroid Russia. At 10 Libra when the initial protests broke out on November 21, it was in exact square to natal Kiev, the location of those protests. On February 20, when the protests were at their bloodiest, both transit Jupiter (politics, foreign policy) and transit Moskva had come to exactly conjoin natal Kiev. At that time, asteroid Russia (#232) at 19 Scorpio was conjunct Saturn at 23 Scorpio, and both squared asteroid Kiev at 20 Aquarius, on the Ukraine Moon, further evidence of a conflict (square) between the will of the people (Moon) in the capital (Kiev), and the official pro-Russian stance (Russia) of the president (Saturn). The question now that Yanukovych has been ousted is whether Jupiter will act to inflate Moscow’s response to the discomfiture of the former president.
[Author’s note, 3/1/14: on Friday, 28 February 2014, Moscow did in fact escalate the situation considerably, sending troops into the Crimea, a semi-autonomous region of the Ukraine, and mobilizing thousands more across the Russian border, ostensibly a planned “military exercise.” Yanukovych, who has fled to Russia, gave a press conference the same day, describing his ouster as a “bandit coup.” Transit Jupiter was still conjunct Ukraine’s natal asteroid Kiev, while transit Moskva’s power was heightened by its direct station, just the day before, at 9 Cancer 55. On March 1, Putin claimed authority to intervene in Ukraine’s internal affairs in support of Russian nationals in the Crimea region, and was supported by a unanimous vote in the Russian senate.]
All the major players are represented in the PNA placements for key moments in the drama. Viktor Yanukovych, represented by asteroids Victoria (#12, the feminine form of Victor) and Viktorov (#17176), appears in the Ukraine’s natal chart with Victoria at 1 Virgo conjunct the 0 Virgo Sun, indicating his pivotal role in the country’s history, and with Viktorov at 18 Virgo conjoined natal Mars at 25 Virgo, suggesting his use of violence or excessive force. When the protests began on November 21, transit Victoria at 20 Scorpio was conjunct transit Saturn, ruling governments and chief executives, at 16 Scorpio, while transit Viktorov at 6 Leo was opposing the Ukraine’s natal Saturn at 1 Aquarius (as well as transit asteroid America, another symbol for the West, at 8 Aquarius). The dual Saturn activation also suggests a harsh, repressive response. When Yanukovych was impeached on February 21, Victoria at 12 Capricorn was exactly conjunct Pluto, indicating his political destruction, with Viktorov at 23 Cancer on the nation’s natal asteroid Karma at 21 Cancer, showing the beleaguered president reaping the harvest of his actions.
On a quick biographical note, Yanukovych’s (born 9 July 1950) birth chart supports a Russian-based debacle in his life. With asteroid Russia at 12 Aries, the country has the potential to become his personal bête noir during the current phase of the Uranus/Pluto square, as Uranus came to station exactly atop it last summer, implying revolutionary energies directed at that target, and Pluto is in exact square now at his fall, signaling a major transformation in power. This point also ties to his country’s natal Uranus/Kiev opposition by T-Square, prompting the capital’s (Kiev) rebellion (Uranus) over pro-Russian policies (Russia). Natal asteroid Moskva at 25 Virgo is an exact match for the Ukraine’s natal Mars and squares Yanukovych’s natal Nemesis at 22 Gemini, once again suggesting violence or conflict (Mars) stemming from his personal view of the Russian government (Moskva), resulting in his undoing (Nemesis).
Opponents Yulia Tymoshenko and Oleksandr Turchynov are also present. Tymoshenko is represented by asteroids Yuliya (#15745), Julia (#89) and Tymchenko (#253536), which fall in the Ukraine nativity as follows: Yuliya at 13 Aquarius conjunct natal asteroid Ukraina (#1709, named for the country) at 15 Aquarius, suggesting her personal identification with the state; Julia at 6 Libra squared natal Kiev at 10 Cancer, providing a personal pull toward the capital; and Tymchenko at 10 Virgo, just barely within orb of the 0 Virgo Sun, exactly sextile natal Kiev and exactly trine natal Uranus at 10 Capricorn, denoting her importance to the capital and in the country’s revolutionary process (Tymoshenko was an important figure in the 2004 Orange Revolution which attempted to set the Ukraine on a more democratic path). When Tymoshenko was freed from prison on February 22, transit Yuliya at 22 Aquarius conjoined transit Kiev at 21 Aquarius and the natal Moon at 22 Aquarius; transit Tymchenko at 7 Aries conjoined transit Uranus at 10 Aries, representing both her own personal freedom and her potential importance in the new revolution; and transit Julia at 1 Taurus conjoined transit Nemesis at 0 Taurus (indicating her role as Yanukovych’s chief political opponent).
Oleksandr Turchynov is represented by asteroids Alex and Alexandra (#3367 & #54, both for “Oleksandr”, the Russo-Slavic version of “Alexander”). In the natal chart, Alex appears at 19 Cancer, conjunct natal Karma, so his role as interim president seems predestined; Alexandra appears at 23 Libra, in trine to the natal Moon and squared the natal Ascendant/Descendant axis, suggesting a pivotal part to play in the nation’s history in support (trine) of the populace (Moon). When Turchynov assumed power on February 21, transit Alex at 19 Aries was exactly squared natal Alex and traveling with transit Ukraina at 16 Aries, making him temporarily the visible face of the country; transit Alexandra at 25 Sagittarius was conjunct the Galactic Center at 27 Sagittarius, exactly trine the Ukraine natal Mercury at 25 Leo, and exactly squared its natal Mars at 25 Virgo, showing the Speaker (Mercury) thrust into the global spotlight (Galactic Center) in reaction to acts of violence (Mars).
Even Vladimir Putin, as the eminence grise of the piece, has his pride of place in the astrology of the crisis. Represented by asteroid Vladimir (#1724), he appears in Ukraine’s nativity at 24 Sagittarius, squared natal Mars (thus an agent of provocation and violence) and the exact degree of transit asteroid Kiev when the anti-Russian protests broke out there in November. At that time, the nation had recently experienced a “Vladimir Return”, with transit Vladimir still within orb of that conjunction at 28 Sagittarius. When the bloodiest conflict occurred on February 20, transit Vladimir at 5 Aquarius had just conjoined the Ukraine Saturn, its government and president, at 1 Aquarius, indicating the hold Putin had over Yanukovych.
The path ahead for the Ukraine is unclear, but Pluto makes one last exact contact to the natal Uranus/Kiev opposition, at its direct station in September 2014 at 10 Capricorn, suggesting that there may be more developments this fall, and this moment of victory is just another stage in the process.